Anderson Cooper Grills Facebook Exec Over Pelosi Video: ‘Shouldn’t You Just Get Out of the News Business’ If You Can’t Do It Well
CNN’s Anderson Cooper had some tough questions for Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert in an an interview that aired on Friday night, at one point telling her if the social media giant is going to be in the news business “you’ve got to do it right.”
Cooper started off the video by pointing out that a doctored video of Nancy Pelosi appearing to be drunk has been spread over a million times on the social media site even though Facebook is aware it is a fake.
“They’re not even commenting on it,” he said, before introducing Bickert, who he said was serving as Facebook’s spokesperson.
“Facebook has repeatedly told Congress and the American people that you’re serious about fighting disinformation and fake news, yet this doctored video that I think your own fact checkers acknowledge is doctored of Speaker Pelosi remains on your platform. Why?” Cooper asked her.
Bickert then said that Facebook has acted.
“Anybody who is seeing this video in their news feed, anybody who is going to share it to somebody else, anybody who has shared it in the past, they are being alerted that this video is false,” she said. “And this is part of the way that we deal with misinformation. We work with internationally certified fact-checking organizations that are independent from Facebook, and we think these are the right organizations to be making decisions about whether something is true or false. And as soon as we get — and we did in this case, as soon as we get a rating from them that content is false, then we dramatically reduce the distribution of that content.”
Cooper then pointed out the content is still up.
Bickert said that it is their philosophy that “people make their own informed choice about what to believe. Our job is to make sure we’re getting them accurate information.”
“You have no problem removing 3.39 billion fake Facebook accounts from October through March. So why is it okay for you to remove fake Facebook accounts, but it’s not okay to remove a clearly fake video?” Cooper then pressed.
The Facebook exec noted that fake accounts were part of their community standards.
Cooper pressed further.
“I guess I still just don’t logically understand — I understand it’s a big business to get into of trying to figure out what’s true or not, but you’re making money by being in the news business. If you can’t do it well, shouldn’t you just get out of the news business?” Cooper asked.
“Look, I reject the notion that we’re not doing a lot to counter misinformation…” Bickert replied.
“Again, you’re in the news business. There’s a responsibility that comes with that. And this is, this isn’t even a question [about the video],” Cooper pushed on.
Bickert then suggested she was actually in the “social media business.”
“Well, you are in the news business,” Cooper countered. “The reason you’re sharing news is because you make money from it. It keeps people watching you and more involved in your site, which I get, and that’s fair. But if you’re in the news business, which you are, you’ve got to do it right and this is false information you are spreading.”
Bickert once again doubled down on Facebook’s decision to keep the video up.
Watch above, via CNN
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org